It is one of the most popular diets followed by millions of people worldwide for various reasons. Best Keto diet foods mainly consist of seafood, meat, nuts and seeds, poultry, and avocados.
Unlike some of the other fad diets, people who decide to follow the keto diet often apply it in the long term. This outcome is observed because the diet is sustainable and has promising results.
According to Google, the Keto diet became so popular that the word became the most searched food-related topic of 2020. People who have been following the keto diet in the long term have reported that they improved their overall health and lost the unnecessary fat accumulated in their bodies.
1. Keto Diet
If you’re someone who follows intermittent fasting or is familiar with the concept, you might be aware of the term ‘ketosis.’
Ketosis begins in your body after the 18th hour of your fast. This is a stage where your body begins to burn fat at an incredibly effective rate, and since your body is deprived of food, it will start using the fat in your body to provide you with energy.
Since carbohydrates are the primary energy provider in most people’s bodies, consuming a very low-carb diet can trigger ketosis. People who eat keto diet foods have their bodies burning fat at all periods even with little to no exercise.
2. Keto Diet Foods And Their Benefits
2.1. Low Carb Veggies
On a keto diet, you have to be wary of two things predominantly. Firstly, your keto diet foods should have little to no carbs. Secondly, you should avoid high starchy vegetables. This cuts off common veggies such as corn, potatoes, and most of the root vegetables.
2.1.1. Opt For Non-Starchy Vegetables
It’s essential to include low-carb vegetables in your keto diet foods as they provide your body with micronutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants. Your eating habits will change this way drastically, and it could easily trigger weight loss in your body.
Starchy vegetables should be avoided to keep your blood sugar in check. Leafy greens are mostly safe, but it’s essential to check the macronutrients for all the items you have before consuming them.
2.1.2. No More Than 10g Net Carbs
Borderline is that if you have leafy vegetables, the chances are that they’re probably low in carbs. An ideal carb count for veggies to consume would be the ones that have less than 6g net carbs per 100g, but you can extend it to 10g. Many common vegetables, such as onion, carrot, and beetroot, are much higher in grams of carbs.
There are plenty of keto diet foods to pick from the vast amount of seafood available. It’s one of the most popular options for keto diet foods as they contain loads of healthy fatty acids, and there are various tasty recipes to check out.
2.2.1. It’s Tasty But Also Healthy
On this low-carbohydrate diet, you can eat seafood without worries since it doesn’t have carbs and is higher in fats and protein. Some of the best keto diet foods you can eat are Anchovies, Salmon, and Sardines, which are well-known providers of healthy omega-3 fatty acids and are non-existent on net carbs.
The consumption of seafood often during the keto diet has been linked to many health benefits. It is known to reduce an individual’s chance of being prone to chronic disease concerns and heart disease risk factors.
Frequent fish intake in your keto diet foods can also have potential health benefits related to lowering the chances of developing diabetes and improving your memory skills.
2.2.2. Being On A Limit Is Important
Other fatty fish-favored keto diet foods are Mackerel, Tuna, and Herring. You should keep in mind not to consume too much fish per week and limit yourself to no more than twice during that period.
People on the keto diet often consume too much fat content and burn only the fat they consumed instead of the excess fat already present in their bodies.
2.3. A Delight For Meat And Poultry Lovers
If you’re someone who enjoys meat on a daily occasion, you’ll be glad to know that there are mostly no restrictions for it in keto diet foods. Animal fats are some of the best healthy fats you can have on keto.
You can have various types of meat as long as they don’t contain added sugars. Processed meats should be avoided (even though they are considered keto diet foods) as they contain hidden carbs, and they are also linked with increasing your risk of contracting heart diseases and high blood pressure.
2.3.1. Best Meats To Consume On A Keto Diet
Meats can be considered to be the staple of keto diet foods. It’s high in fat content, contains a good amount of protein, and is low on carbs, making it the perfect meal to have on this diet.
You can have any type of meat you prefer. They’re all keto diet foods, whether it be chicken, lamb, pork, beef, or steak. You should be careful with what you add to your meat while cooking it since the meat itself is keto-friendly, but the accompaniments can get tricky.
The daily carb intake should be no more than 15g to 50g (net carbs, which is total carbs minus fiber).
If you’re vegetarian and want to start the ketogenic diet anyway, there are plenty of keto diet foods for you as well. People often interpret that this diet isn’t suitable for vegetarians as most high-fat content can be found only in meat and poultry.
Although it can get tricky to find vegetarian keto diet foods, it’s not impossible to achieve. Here’s an article that can help you make your transition to this healthy lifestyle easy and fun.
2.4. Limited Dairy Products
Keto diets restrict high-sugar foods, and this includes dairy items such as ice cream, sweet puddings, and sweetened Greek yogurts. Plain Greek yogurt would work just as well if you’re craving dairy.
You can opt for plain Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and cream cheese on a keto diet in limited quantities. Many low-carb recipes include these items, so you can use them in a measured amount. Greek yogurt and cottage cheese are good sources of protein-rich foods, and they’ll leave you feeling full after a good meal.
2.4.1. Lactose Intolerant Folks Can Skip Dairy Entirely Without Worries
If you’re lactose intolerant, you can skip dairy entirely. There are many other alternatives to choose from since people believed keto was just about meat and dairy. Those who skip dairy entirely can accelerate the fat loss in their system.
Butter and different types of cheese can be included in your keto diet foods as long as they’re high in fat content.
2.4.2. Dairy Alternatives
There are many dairy alternatives that are keto-friendly as well. You can have unsweetened almond milk, coconut milk, flax milk, and soy milk.
2.5. Limited Beverages
You have to be prepared to ditch sugary soda drinks and fruit juices if you’re going to be on a ketogenic diet. It’s a good practice to avoid soft drinks altogether to keep your blood sugar in check.
This is the point where many give up and opt out of it. People who have been conscious about their health for years can’t live without fruit juices, mainly because it’s natural.
2.5.1. What Can You Drink Freely
The best daily keto-friendly drinks are sparkling water, unsweetened coffee, and unsweetened tea.
The main goal of the ketogenic diet is maintaining ketosis. It’s important to moderate not only what you eat but also what you drink. Dry red wine can be consumed in moderation as well.
It might get tempting to have a bottle of Diet Coke or any other ‘zero calories’ version of soft drinks, but these products contain artificial sugar, which can increase your sugar cravings. We don’t need that on a keto diet.
2.6. Nuts And Seeds
They work perfectly as a snack and a delicious companion to your meals. There are many options to choose from as most nuts and seeds are filled with many nutrients fit for your keto lifestyle.
2.6.1. Best Nuts And Seeds To Eat
Nuts and seeds can work as a perfect addition to your diet, but not all of them. Just like vegetables, there are the ones that are high-carb foods and the ones that are perfect for your low-carb diet.
You can eat almonds, pecans, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, and pine nuts. They are some of the best options to choose from and per serving of them contain less than 3g net carbs.
Along with various health benefits and healthy monounsaturated fats, eating seeds and nuts in replacement of snacks such as the usual junk food can help you to lose weight as well as improve your eating habits.
It’s important to maintain a low-carb diet on keto. Fruits, while they provide many health benefits, are often high in carb count.
That doesn’t mean that all fruits have to be eliminated! Luckily, there are a few tasty options to choose from. You can have a little fruit occasionally as long as you keep the carb count in check. If you shift from your low-carb options for more than a day, it could hinder your ketogenic diet progress.
2.7.1. Which Fruits Are Allowed On Keto
One of the most popular keto diet foods falls into this category. While most fruits should be avoided on keto, you can have a little avocado occasionally. It’s a good source of fiber and healthy fat as well.
You can have a variety of fresh berries such as strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries. Since none of these fruits are carb-free, it’s important to keep their quantity in check while adding them to your keto diet.
2.8. Keto Alternatives To Add To Your List
There are many common diet items that are not keto-friendly, so shifting to this new diet can get tricky and irritating once you realize the number of chances you might have to make.
2.8.1. Cooking Oils = Healthy Fats
When it comes to cooking, the fact that you need to consume high-fat items is a blessing. You can use as much oil as you’d like in your food without worries. Cooking oils such as coconut oil, olive oil, and avocado oil are your best bets as they’re often high in saturated fat.
These cooking oils are filled with saturated fats and monounsaturated fat content. Olive oil and coconut oil are the perfect companions to your keto diet food.
2.8.2. Plenty Of Keto Alternatives
There are many keto alternatives to high-carb foods available in the market now. While it’s recommended to stick to the available high-fat options, every now and then it’s normal to have a craving to indulge in carbs.
There are popular alternatives to pizza and bread, making it much easier for people to transition to keto effectively.
2.8.3. Craving Sweets
Thanks to the increase in curiosity about the keto diet in recent years, many keto enthusiasts have come forward with tasty recipes to fulfill your cravings without a high carbohydrate intake scare. You might miss drowning pancakes in maple syrup or enjoying brownies, but keto alternatives are just as good.
There are also some sweets that you can eat on rare occasions if you’re really craving them. If you want to, you can have some pure dark chocolate in moderation. Although you can’t find carb-free dark chocolate, super low-carb options are available.
Eating keto should feel like a new beginning, not a punishment, so make it as fun as you can.
If you’re looking for alternatives to sugary sweet desserts, you can check this video out and try out some of these recipes for yourself.
3. Health Benefits Of A Keto Diet
Whenever people find a new diet, they often try to look for items that can be sneaked in. These items are the types of foods that aren’t exactly healthy but still allowed to be consumed on that diet.
The ketogenic diet comes with various benefits which people often overlook. Ever since this diet was popularized in 2016, people have been coming up with different variations of keto to achieve the perfect weight loss.
3.1. Not Just About Counting Carbs
The real keto diet isn’t just about counting net carbs and coming up with various recipes to indulge the sweet cravings. Keto diets are proven to have many health benefits that are essential to your well-being. Other than triggering weight loss in your body, being on keto can improve your metabolic state to a high degree.
Being on this diet can be beneficial to the ones struggling with diabetes or reduce the risk of contracting diabetes in the future. Since you’re avoiding sugar to a high degree, you’ll be successful in decreasing your blood pressure and stabilizing your blood sugar levels.
4. Side Effects Of The Keto Diet
Your body is bound to react in some way when you change your diet drastically. It’s normal to note some side effects of changing up your diet in the beginning stages of the ketogenic diet. Most of these side effects are temporary and not harmful to your body in the long run, but it doesn’t mean that it’s the right option for everybody.
4.1. Check With Your Doctor Before Starting Keto
People with some underlying diseases might find it hard to transition into the keto lifestyle. One of the first things about following a ketogenic diet is that since you’re restricting carbs, it might get hard to get your daily nutrients from strictly fat foods.
Those who have pre-existing liver problems, or issues with their kidneys or pancreas should avoid this diet as well. It’s suitable to check with your doctor to see if this diet would work for your body.
Individuals who struggle with diabetes might find this diet as their holy grail, but it’s not suitable for all patients with diabetes. There is a condition where these people can develop diabetic ketoacidosis caused by high levels of ketone bodies, which can be fatal.
In hindsight, yes. The keto diet has many benefits and it can help steer an individual towards a healthy lifestyle. By eliminating sugar from your body, you reduce the risk of developing numerous issues in the future.
Consistency is one of the hardest parts of starting a keto diet. One of the main things people struggle with is quitting sugar. Although it’s not completely banned from your diet, it’s still a high source of carbs and should be avoided.
Most people have a ‘sweet tooth’ or crave something sweet after a good meal, you can’t satisfy this desire with traditional keto diet foods. That’s why it can seem hard to suddenly stop and go through some withdrawals as your muscle mass will be affected, but the benefits start kicking in once you get familiar with your new diet.
Keto diet foods are something that you should include in your diet for the long run if your body can tolerate it. By cutting carbs you’re not just cutting unhealthy foods but also a bunch of essential fruits and vegetables that contain many nutrients and vitamins.
Although your body will be in fat-burning mode, weight loss won’t work if you keep eating only high-fat items without monitoring your calorie intake.
The low-carb ketogenic diet isn’t for everyone, and keto diet foods aren’t suitable for everyone, but they can have a lot of benefits if you stick to them.
1. What fats are suitable for a keto diet?
A. Healthy fats like avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, and seeds are excellent choices for a keto diet. These fats provide energy and help you reach your daily fat intake goals.
2. How do I calculate my macros on a keto diet?
A. To determine your ideal macronutrient ratios on a keto diet, use an online calculator or consult with a registered dietitian. Typically, keto macros consist of high fat (70-75% of calories), moderate protein (20-25%), and very low carbs (5-10%).
3. Can I have cheat days on a keto diet?
A. Many people follow a strict keto diet and avoid cheat days to maintain ketosis. Introducing high-carb foods can take your body out of ketosis, which may disrupt the diet’s effectiveness.